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Telehealth is an emerging area of practice for many health care professionals. Regulations, policies, and standards are in flux until a "gold standard" becomes consensus; but that has not stopped technology from entering into mainstream practice. It is not surprising that RDNs are asking themselves how their patients can benefit from Telehealth and Telenutrition.

Here, you will find information for providing telehealth care to your patients.

This quick guide provides guidance about practicing telehealth in the context of the COVID-19 national public health emergency as Medicare, commercial/private payers, and some Medicaid programs temporarily modify their policies and rules to expand access to care via telehealth. The guide is for RDNs who are not working in facilities and who already provide in-person MNT to consumers with Medicare, commercial/private insurance, and/or Medicaid (e.g., already a network provider with payers).

  • If you are an RDN working in a facility, please refer to your organization for specific guidance. If your organization is providing other services via telehealth, RDNs may be able to leverage internal resources.

  • RDNs in urban Federally Qualified Health Centers are able to provide MNT in accordance with CMS waivers related to telehealth. The temporary changes do not apply to rural Federally Qualified Health Centers at this time.

  • If you are interested in becoming a Medicare provider, Medicare is expediting the Medicare Part B provider enrollment process and offering temporary Medicare billing privileges.

  • If you are not already providing MNT services to consumers and billing insurance, visit the Academy's Payment section.

RDNs will need to confirm policies with each private payer, including Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) plans, or respective Medicaid programs. Policies and rules are changing daily, so check Academy updates on a regular basis for the most current information.

This information should not be interpreted as a change in benefits and coverage for Medical Nutrition Therapy, but rather how the MNT can be provided. Payment for MNT and other services provided by RDNs is still dependent on several factors including, but not limited to, individual patient benefits, individual policy coverage specifics, provider status (in network vs out of network), and related payer policies. In addition to numerous temporary changes related to telehealth delivery, many insurance companies are also waiving copayments and cost sharing for many services. Keep in mind that telephonic visits do not quality for telehealth visits under Medicare. RDNs can ask private payers about the use of telephone to provide MNT, especially for patients who do not have access to the required technologies.


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